Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sweet deal

Al Akhbar reported yesterday of an embezzlement operation of nearly $1 million on the subsidies for sugar beet. Apparently, big political figures are implicated. It happened this way: The government wanted to stop subsidies on sugar beet, so it gave compensation to farmers who had planted sugar beet. Big farmers and influential local figures had known about the plan and had rented lands and seeded them with sugar beet without any intention of growing beet. They did not invest in fertilizers or any input other than the seeds. Once they got the compensation, they turned the crop under and planted something else.

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